Co-op launches Easter appeal to collect 30,000 items to help feed people in Cambridgeshire
Central England Co-op is launching its annual Easter Food Bank Appeal by urging customers in Cambridgeshire to help collect 30,000 items for people in need – in just two weeks.
The Society is placing special collection points in over 200 Food Stores this April in an effort to get people to donate everyday items to support local food banks at a time of year when supplies start to drop.
Last year, the campaign helped collect 25,000 items in just 14 days. The aim this year is to collect an extra 5,000 items to help create over 10,000 meals.
The major push this year is for UHT milk, cereals and tinned meat and fish. Food banks have asked people to donate chocolate items and puddings as well as toiletries items.
In Cambridgeshire, the food banks to benefit will include Cambridge City Food bank, Peterborough Food bank and Yaxley Food bank.
Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “We had an amazing response to our Easter Food Bank Appeal last year and we know, after speaking to our food bank partners, it is vital that we run our campaign again in 2019.
“While the majority of our Food Stores have food bank collection points in place all year round, we feel that it is vital to shine a light on the times of year when services are strained and are in need of boost.
“Easter, just like summer and Christmas, is one of these times and this is why everyone involved at Central England Co-op is asking members and customers to dig deep and help support some great and vital local good causes.
“Just donating an item or two – from essential items to treats - will go towards creating a meal for someone in need and we hope that, in just two weeks, we will be able to collect 30,000 items – 5,000 more than last year. This will then support the creation of 10,000 meals and help make a real difference.”
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products to ensure people can maintain their dignity during times of crisis.
The items will then be collected up, turned into parcels with enough food to create meals for three days and distributed to help people in need across all of the 16 counties that it trades in.
Max Shanahan, from Northfield Community Partnership Food Bank, said: “We have to remember that there are people who are in very difficult situations who need our help and support, especially at times of celebration like at Easter.
“During Easter we ask for people not to donate chocolate or Easter eggs, but the vital everyday items we need such as cereal, tinned meat and fish and UHT milk.
“Just one item would make a huge difference to help us as a food bank ensure that people do not go hungry.”
During Christmas 2013, Central England Co-operative Society trialled an in-store food bank collection and such was its success that the Society now has permanent food bank collection points in hundreds of its stores.
The store food banks have resulted in thousands of people every month from Birmingham to Norfolk being given enough food to cook meals.
The Society now works with over 50 different food banks to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.
Last year, Central England Co-op customers helped donated 250,000 items – helping to creating 100,000 meals for people in need.
The Easter campaign will run from 8 April to 21 April.
A full list of the stores taking part in the appeal can be found by visiting www.centralengland.coop
Notes to editors
Key items needed by foodbanks during the festive season:
- Tinned food
- Dried pasta
- UHT milk
- Instant coffee
About Central England Co-operative
Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK.
It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.
Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.
Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility. It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence. The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.
Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to member activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.
For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative
Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390